The Austrian Ökoenergie-Blog recently raised the question “Where should your money go?”. I didn’t have to think about a short answer to this question despite the manifaceted energy, sustainability and redistribution questions behind it that would allow for a more thorough response.
I got an exciting answer from my weekly visit to the West End Farmers Market in Vancouver today: We eat food several times each day, it travels through our whole body and nevertheless we often don’t really think about what’s in our shopping bags or on our dinner plates.
But there’s an easy solution: Food should be local, organic and fresh and that’s why I appreciate farmes markets, urban farming, community gardens and other aspects of the Urban Food Revolution that’s happening in Vancouver and many other North American cities.
This is not only good for my health and my finances but also supports a more sustainable, democratic and collaborative type of farming far away from conventional, mass-scale industrial agriculture. In times of climate change and urbanization, this also increases urban resilience and fosters urban diversity and community.
This movement builds upon many farmers who care about secure jobs, high-quality products and reconnecting young people (but also adults) with food. Not to forget the the aspects of social responsibility and innovation as well as the positive effects on the environment and our health care system.
Moreover, when buying directly from the farmer, I also know the answer to the important question “Who get my money?”. Actually, this is a question that should also be asked by politicians. Because when we look at agricultural subsidies, we should ask if these should go into big agrobusiness or small-scale, local and organic farming. Do we want to use taxpayers’ money to support large-scale farms and multinationals or do we want to preserve local farming jobs?
It becomes clear that even grocery shopping is a political act through which we can contribute to a more sustainable, democratic and fair society and become part of a revolutionary, innovative and responsible movement!
P.S.: The purchase above costed me approximately 20 dollars. While you probably only get three frozen pizzas in the supermarket for 20 dollar, I can prepare several green smoothies and many diverse and delicious meals from these veggies.